Analysing the language of counter-terrorism
in Writing the war on terrorism
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This chapter explains how the 'war on terrorism' consists of both practice and language, or discourse. Then, it suggests that discourses form the foundation for the practice by establishing the underlying assumptions, beliefs and knowledge. There are important and unambiguous connections between the language and the practice of counter-terrorism; critical discourse analysis permits people to analyse both the specific features of the language and the deeper relationship between discourse and the exercise of power. The chapter explores how the discourse affects the practice of the 'war on terrorism', particularly, how the language of counter-terrorism has consequences for the moral community, for democratic participation and for the practice of counter-terrorism. Additionally, the 'war on terrorism' as a geo-political and strategic project is as much driven by the internal logic and effect of the discourse as it is by concrete political events.

Writing the war on terrorism

Language, politics and counter-terrorism


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